Photography

Lawrence G. Bair

March 15, 1948 ~ November 3, 2019 (age 71)

Obituary

Lawrence G. "Larry" Bair, 71, of Battle Creek, passed away at his home in the care of his wife and daughters on Sunday morning, Nov. 3, 2019 after being ill this past month.

Larry was born on March 15, 1948 in Kalamazoo to Herbert T. and Cornelia E. (Clapp) Bair. He grew up at the family home on Crooked Lake in the Texas Corners area of Kalamazoo County. He attended Mattawan High School and graduated in 1966. He then attended Kellogg Community College until he was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1967 to serve during the VietNam War. He became a Navy Corpsman. Larry first was stationed in Bethesda, MD and worked in the Cardiac Unit of Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was later transferred to Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago and worked in the Psychiatric Ward caring for returning VietNam veterans. Due to his father's illness he was given an Honorable Discharge to return home to care for his family in 1969.

When Larry was growing up he noticed a cute girl at school, Cynthia M. "Cindy" Haas. He made a habit of crossing the lake to the Haas family's store where Cindy was working! They became a regular dating couple when they were 16 years old. They married on December 27, 1968 in Mattawan at St. John Bosco Church.

After his Honorable Discharge the couple returned to Lawton. They later moved to Paw Paw where Larry built the family home. In 1976 they bought the former Pittsburgh Paint Store in downtown Battle Creek, renaming it "Bair's Decorating Center". Larry and Cindy moved the business from downtown to Columbia Avenue in 1992 and operated there until selling the business in 2001. Larry became a realtor for Pierce Realty and then Remax Perrett Associates. In 2007, Larry became a broker and established Bair Realty.

Larry was a dedicated public safety officer. In the early 1990's he joined the Newton Township Fire Department and shortly after that the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety. During his time at Emmett Township Larry was a member of the fire prevention committee. This team of officers went into schools during fire prevention week and taught fire safety to the students. He served both departments for 25 years before retiring. Since the 2009 opening of FireKeepers Casino he was employed as a Security/EMT Officer.

He volunteered at the first and second Hot Air Balloon Championship in Battle Creek and was in charge of land owner relations. He earned his Hot Air Balloon Pilot's License and he eventually bought his own balloon. He was later hired to design and fly the Pittsburgh Paint balloon which took him around the country to different events. He was also in charge of training pilots for the McGruff Balloon Team.

Larry was devoted to his family and always put them first. He enjoyed camping and fishing with his children and grandchildren. He had a heart for young people in the community and he sponsored many youth sport teams in the area. He poured into the people that he worked/interacted with and served as a mentor to many.

Surviving are his beloved wife and partner of 50 years, Cindy; their daughters Shelley (Cameron) Hoover of Battle Creek, Julie (Chad Stephenson) Bair of Battle Creek, and Laura (Dan) Swain of Fishers, Indiana; his grandchildren Noah Hoover, Mitchell Bair-Pollard, and twins Colin and Jacob Swain. He was preceded in death by his parents, a half-sister Patsy Bair and half-brother David Bair.

The family will gather to greet friends and share memories at the Battle Creek Chapel of Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services at 2838 Capital Avenue SW on Friday, Nov. 8 from 2PM-4PM and 6PM-8PM. Services to celebrate his life will be held at the Battle Creek Chapel of Kempf's on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 11AM with his sister-in-law Rev. Patricia Haas of the United Methodist Church officiating. Fire Department Honors will be conducted by the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety and the Newton Fire Department. Cremation will follow the services.

Interment with military honors will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery at a later date.

The family suggests memorials in Larry's memory to either Emmett Township Officer's Association or Newton Fire Department. Assistance with memorials is available at Kempf's.


Visitation

NOV 8. 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)

Battle Creek Chapel of Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services
2838 Capital Ave. S.W.
Battle Creek, MI, 49015

Visitation

NOV 8. 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)

Battle Creek Chapel of Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services
2838 Capital Ave. S.W.
Battle Creek, MI, 49015

Celebration of Life

NOV 9. 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Battle Creek Chapel of Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services
2838 Capital Ave. S.W.
Battle Creek, MI, 49015

To send flowers to Lawrence's family, please visit our floral section.


Services

Graveside Service
Monday
November 18, 2019

11:00 AM
Fort Custer National Cemetery
15501 Dickman Road
Augusta, MI

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